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Carlson Sells TGI Fridays To Sentinel Capital

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Hotel Operator company

Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, todayannounced that it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of TGIFridays® Restaurants to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan CapitalPartners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Thetransaction is expected to close by July 2014, subject to customary closingconditions.

“We are proud of the Fridays brand and strong marketplacemomentum that has been created over the past nearly four decades,” said CarlsonPresident and CEO Trudy Rautio. “This transaction is a win for all parties andwe are excited and confident that under Sentinel’s ownership Fridays willcontinue to experience significant growth and capitalize on new opportunities.For Carlson, this transaction frees up resources that the company can deploy tofocus on and accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses, at atime when significant opportunities exist in these markets.”

This transaction represents the conclusion of a thorough andexhaustive strategic alternatives process initiated by Carlson for TGI Fridaysin November of 2013. TGI Fridays will continue to be run by its proven andwell-respected management team, led by President and CEO Nick Shepherd.

The first TGI Fridays restaurant opened in 1965 in New YorkCity, building a brand known for handcrafted American food and legendarydrinks, served with genuine personal service. Carlson acquired TGI Fridays in 1975 when the brand had just 12restaurants. Since that time TGI Fridays has become a brand loved around theworld, today with more than 900 restaurants in operation globally in 60countries and reported system-wide sales of $2.7 billion in 2013. TGI Fridays restaurants include TGI Fridays,Fridays FrontRow Sports Grill and Fridays American Bar, and employ over 70,000people globally.

Sentinel, who will be TGI Fridays’ majority shareholder, hasextensive restaurant and franchising investment experience and a demonstratedability to create successful independent businesses through complex corporatecarve outs. Sentinel has completednumerous acquisitions of both franchisors and franchisees, includingCheckers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of dual drive-thruhamburger QSRs in the United States; Newk’s Eatery, a rapidly growingfast-casual concept in the Southeast United States; Falcon Holdings, thelargest franchisee of Church's Chicken restaurants; Huddle House, a leadingfranchisor of family dining restaurants in the Southeast; Massage Envy, thenation’s largest provider and franchisor of therapeutic massage and spaservices; and Southern California Pizza Company, a 223-unit Pizza Hutfranchisee operating in the greater Los Angeles market.

“We are very excited to partner with TGI Fridays’outstanding management team,” said John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner.“TGI Fridays is an iconic global brand with a long history of solid performanceand a significant opportunity for future growth.”

Piper Jaffray & Co. served as Carlson’s financialadvisor for this transaction and Locke Lord LLP served as legal counsel.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel toSentinel.

About Carlson

Carlson is a global hospitality and travel companyheadquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group includes morethan 1,340 hotels in operation and development, including the QuorvusCollection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza®; Park Inn® byRadisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM; more than 930 TGI Fridays®restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the globalleader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150countries and territories and its brands employ more than 178,000 people. Formore information visit, www.carlson.com.

About Sentinel Capital Partners

Sentinel Capital Partners specializes in buying and buildingmiddle market companies in the United States and Canada in partnership withmanagement. Sentinel targets aerospace and defense, business services, consumer,distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrialbusinesses. Sentinel invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations,corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of establishedbusinesses. Sentinel also invests in special situations, including balancesheet restructurings and operational turnarounds. For more information aboutSentinel, visit www.sentinelpartners.com.

About TriArtisan Capital Partners

TriArtisan Capital Partners is the merchant banking arm of MorganJoseph TriArtisan LLC. TriArtisan makes investments in market leading companiesin partnership with accomplished management, leading private equity funds andinstitutional limited partners.

About TGI Fridays

As the original casual dining bar and grill, TGI Fridaysoffers authentic American food and legendary drinks, served with genuinepersonal service. Bringing peopletogether to socialize and celebrate the freeing and liberating spirit of“Friday” was the concept’s founding premise, from which the brand promise “InHere, It’s Always Friday” was born. Toshare that social Fridays experience all over the world, TGI Fridays proudlyserves guests with over 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries. Making every day feel like a Friday wouldn'tbe possible without creating a place where friends feel free to get together.That's why TGI Fridays takes pride in its nearly 8,000 skilled andknowledgeable bartenders, all of whom for the past twenty years have competedannually for the title of the "World's Greatest TGI FridaysBartender."

The Fridays guest recognition program, Give Me MoreStripes®, gives Fridays’ closest friends exclusive insider rewards, specialevent access, and menu sneak peeks, and is not only the first loyalty programof its kind in the industry, but one of the most progressive.

TGI Fridays believes in having a good time, but also in theimportance of drinking responsibly. Additionally, its Responsible Business Program is focused on positivelyimpacting the communities it serves. Formore information, visit www.fridays.com.

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